Do You Hear the Elements Call You?


@postayday 344; #postaday2011.

In the morning when you wake, do you listen? I listen for the rustle of leaves, the patter of raindrops, or I listen to the stillness, holding my breath, waiting for a gust to blow away my enthusiasm or ambitions and the miniblinds in the bedroom, or pull on them until they bang and crash against the screen.

What I hear weighs in on what I do, what I wear, what my day will be. If it’s the weekend, I usually get ready for a bike ride. I’ve gotten so used to riding in the rain, that I don’t usually let it stop me, unless it’s been relentless for a few days, resulting in much debris on the road. Those are the days I go to 24-Hour Fitness Hawaii Kai.

Now I’ve heard that my swim coaches are missing me, and no matter what the weather is when I get home from work, I need to get back into the groove of my masters swim sessions, which I really do love.

When I first came to Hawaii, I had no interest in learning to surf. But I had a boyfriend who pretended to surf, which pretty much got my goat as it got him dates with tourist chicks while I worked the evening shift. One-night stands. Ugh. Do I have to go back to that dumb girl I was? Once I grabbed a boogie board and jumped off the Kapahulu Groin into the surf to catch some waves. When I got out of the water, he chewed me out for doing something so dangerous. What a fool. I was way better in the ocean than he ever was. I decided to take up surfing and that dude was quickly on the books.

I used to be that girl!

I love the ocean. I love the sand, the waves, the tides, the little fish that linger under me as I sit and wait my turn to catch waves. It’s been a really long time since I’ve surfed. I had only been out once or twice in the year before I blew out my Achille’s tendon in 2009. I do think that if I’m ever confident enough to paddle out again, it will be as a beginner surfer girl, just not as limber, sad to say.

Today on Twitter I received a link to a beautiful video about a dear friend of mine whom I haven’t spoken with in probably 25 years. Eric Arakawa is a world-renowned surfboard shaper on Oahu’s North Shore. (let the 10-minute video load before watching so you don’t have to deal with the stuttering). I’ve had a custom board by Eric, and he tolerated my request for Hello Kitty to be glassed into the deck. I think this was in the late 80s. I used to visit him when he was shaping. We’d talk about stuff while he did laps along the sides of the blank, shaving at the foam, shaping a board for Ronnie Burns, Michael or Derek Ho, Andy Irons, or maybe me. Through Eric, I got to meet Ed Angulo, a shaper who took Eric under his wing and taught him his own tricks. Ed passed to me a big floater windsurfer, and so I got to learn how to windsurf, another thing I loved. Why? Because I didn’t have to hang back in the lineup if a dude wanted a wave and I was just a surfer chick. You can be sure I took whatever waves I could, but some guys were real aggressive butts. When I was surfing, Sunny Garcia was in middle school and high school and one of the sweetest kids around. I know that sweet kid is still in there somewhere.

Kid1&2 watching Mom on her SUP.

Now that I’m running, well, sort of running, with my #5kin100days program (week 11 here I come!), maybe I’ll be able to do that handspring sort of move that launches a surfer from their belly to their feet while trying to catch a wave. I don’t need to surf big waves, but I sure do miss the fun little rides, the lefts, the rights, the friends. I have a stand-up paddle board, so I think I’ll get back out on that first. Hawaii winters might mean big waves on the North Shore where Eric lives, but for me in Hawaii Kai, it could mean weekend morning glass.

I’ll have to work this in while training for that ANA Lanikai Triathlon on April 22, 2012, and the Haleiwa Century for April 29, 2012. And stay healthy! I’ll definitely have to stay healthy!